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Investigating The Phenomenology Of Design Objects Within A Specific Environment

Rayworth, Anthony (2022) Investigating The Phenomenology Of Design Objects Within A Specific Environment. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Anthony Rayworth PhD Submission Master Final.pdf - Submitted Version
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Abstract or description

The research is located within the wider context of design and creative practice, specifically: interior design, exhibition design, and curatorial practice. The research addresses the experience of the viewer as they move through an exhibition of painting and objects originally associated with the Italian High Renaissance in the early sixteenth century.
The work proposes a way to use phenomenological perspectives, drawn from the work of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, to conceive the experience of the viewer relative to exhibited design objects. The work also proposes a way to curate this experience without instructing the viewer on the meaning of the objects and how they should be understood.
This curation aims to introduce the viewer to an experience of the objects that is distinctively their own. It is addressed specifically to design objects with the aim of informing curatorial practice in this field.

By presenting the objects within the context of an exhibition intended to provoke a phenomenological experience whereby symbolism, history or interpretation by the viewer are considered to be unnecessary, or indeed actively discouraged, the objects become liberated and able to present themselves to the viewer as they are themselves - unfettered by any requirement of understanding by the viewer.

The objects present to the viewer, rather than adopting the familiar exhibition protocol where the viewer interrogates the objects. In this revised condition, the relationship between artefact and viewer may become meaningful without that meaning having been constructed by the provision of any external information.

The painting bringing focus to both the research and the exhibition is The Feast of the Gods painted in 1514 by Giovanni Bellini with additions to the background in 1529 by Titian. A number of domestic objects are represented within the painting, three of which have been selected for consideration within the exhibition: a Ming dynasty porcelain bowl, a silver wine cup, and a Murano glass, wheel-cut beaker.

The painting and objects form the basis of the research exhibition designed to bring the viewer not only to a new experience of objects but to a phenomenological experience of objects, achieved by directing the viewer on their journey through the exhibition where the objects are disengaged from the context of the painting prior to being presented within a series of their own phenomenological ‘worlds’. The phenomenological account of experience may then be used to develop new understanding relating to the presentation of design objects and the viewer's experience of them.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Digital, Technologies and Arts > English, Creative Writing and Philosophy
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 12:59
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 14:17
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